BOSTON (CBS) — Tuukka Rask has made the big time.
The latest cover of Sports Illustrated features the Bruins’ netminder, albeit sprawled out on the ice trying to make a save. Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and Penguins forward James Neal stand in the background as the closest witnesses to Rask’s save.
“The Best: Why the NHL postseason is like no other” is the headline for the accompanying story, written by Steve Rushin. Given their postseason success this year, the Bruins wouldn’t argue that.
The Bruins head into Wednesday night’s Game 3 with a 2-0 series lead over the mighty Pittsburgh Penguins, with both games won on Pittsburgh’s home ice. The Bruins are just two wins away from making the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in three years.
Rask has had quite the postseason as well, posting a .935 save percentage and 1.99 goals-against average through 14 games. Those numbers are actually better than Tim Thomas’ through 14 games in 2011 (.932 save percentage, 2.23 GAA), when the Bruins hoisted the Stanley Cup.
“And so it goes, on a nightly basis for eight consecutive weeks, the speeding and the bleeding, making the Stanley Cup playoffs the most intense short-term spectacle in all of sports, a symphony for foghorn, swallowed whistle and dentist drill,” Rushin writes in the story.
The Bruins cover is one of two national covers, with the other featuring the Blackhawks’ Marcus Kruger delivering a hit to an upended Los Angeles Kings player.